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Saturday, February 11, 2017

kay's week - 2.11.17



Happy second Saturday of February!  Hope you are all staying warm and staying well!  Winter kind of seems to have skipped us here in Central Texas.  We had record highs this week - upper 80's.  February is a little early for that, in my opinion.  And half of the people I know are currently sick, have just been sick, or are feeling like they might be sick soon.  Flu has run rampant everywhere.  I volunteered at the library yesterday and they had more than one staff member out with illness.  Plus, every person that was looking for materials in the library seemed to be coughing or blowing their noses.  'Tis the season indeed.


I've been reading...

I finished three books this week and abandoned one completely.  More about that later.  Two were in print, one was on audio, and the DNF - also audio.

Brooklyn Bones by Triss Stein turned out to be an interesting read.  It's the first in the Erica Donato series that currently has three books - a 4th will come out in August of this year.  Erica, the protagonist, is the mother of a teenage girl, a native of Brooklyn, a widow, an urban historian working on her Ph.D., an intern at a museum, and a reluctant mystery solver.  In other words, she's busy.  While having her house renovated, a skeleton of a young woman is discovered behind the walls.  Erica's daughter, Chris, is helping the contractor with the renovation and is actually the one who makes the discovery.  Chaos ensues.  And bad people keep showing up to threaten Erica, who has no idea what is going on.  There was humor and some interesting New York lore.  I liked it a lot.  I'll be continuing with the next book in the series, Brooklyn Graves, soon.

Meanwhile, I listened to Sarah Pinborough's new thriller, Behind Her Eyes.  Bet you've heard something about this one, right?  It was narrated by several people, Anna Bintinck, Josie Dunn, Bea Holland, and Huw Parmenter.  I'm not going to say much about the storyline other than that it's gripping.  Truly gripping.  Told from several viewpoints, Louise, David, and Adele, the reader/listener thinks they have figured things out (or not) and then...no.  I have a feeling this is going to be a book that people either like/love or hate.  A lot has been mentioned about the ending.  Hmmm....I will say that I had my suspicions or something regarding it had crossed my mind, but I was surprised to be mostly correct.  I'll be curious to hear what others think.  Did I like it?  Well enough to think about reading other books by the author.  The audio was well done.  

My next book in print was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.  This is my first book by this author and I had read several reviews about it from other bloggers in recent months.  The one that tipped me over the edge was Susan's (Bloggin' 'bout Books).  Susan and I have similar tastes in a lot of books and our reactions are often close to the same.  So, I dove in.  I guess this could be regarded as a thriller, but it seemed very much on the sci fi side to me.  Jason Dessen is a physics professor with a family that he loves, wife and teenage son.  He's abducted, asked if he's happy by a man in a mask, injected with something, and then he wakes up to find that he isn't married, his son doesn't exist, and he's a genius inventor.  What????  Well, there's a lot more that happens.  And I was just along for the ride.  Had no idea what would come next.  Will I read more books by Blake Crouch?  Um...yes!  Did anyone read this author's Wayward Pines trilogy or see the TV adaptation?  I have not, as yet.

Now to the book I abandoned.  And if you read or listen to this book, you might really like it.  I absolutely did not.  It's The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney.  I used an Audible credit for this one and got over halfway through it.  It was narrated by several (and well done): Emilia Fox, Finty Williams, and Lisa Aagaard Knudsen.  Again, I think it's going to be a book that is liked or loathed.  The story of an architect, a property, One Folgate Place, and two women who live in the house - one before and one after.  The owner has an extensive list of questions for any tenant and many, many, many rules.  Emma is the before tenant and Jane lives there after.  Emma is dead.  Jane is curious.  OK, there is a character that is hugely controlling and quite, quite odd.  I got to the point where I could not listen to any more about that character.  It also started verging into a 50 shades kind of thing.  You guys know that I can handle a lot, but sometimes, I just say 'NO'.  So, I stopped listening and actually returned it to Audible for a refund of my credit.  And I'm glad.  If you read this, I'll be curious as to what you think.  Ron Howard is going to make this into a movie.  Little Opie.  Ha!


Library Friends Meeting...

I attended my first 'Friends of the Library' meeting on Monday.  Filled out my paperwork, greeted several that attend the book group for that library and settled in to see what this 'Friends' group was about.  It was fun.  This group runs a 'twice-a-year' book sale that I've attended.  It a good one and they sell a lot of books.  I asked a few questions at the meeting and we'll see how they feel I can help out in the future.  They are just beginning to sell some collectible books online and I shared that I've a bit of experience with that.  I told them I also have accounting skills.  I look forward to becoming a part of the 'Friends' and raising funds for a local library.


Personally...

A nice week.  We're going to dinner tonight with our daughter and son-in-law.  We try to do that every few weeks to catch up with them and their lives.  They picked the restaurant this time and the daughter made the reservations.  Ajo is a 'New American' food restaurant with lots of healthy farm-to-table selections.  Maybe a little more brussels sprouts and kale than I would prefer (I know they are healthy, but I'm not a big fan!).  I'll find something good to eat though.  If I'm 'over the moon' about my dinner, I'll share about it next week.

It's squirrel and skunk season here in Central Texas.  Critters everywhere.  I snapped a shot of this little guy the other day, climbing on a tree by our garage.  I will not get this close to a skunk to take a picture.  They are around though - we can smell them.  Take care and have a good week!



    

48 comments:

  1. I was interested in your thoughts about The Girl Before as this is the second review of it I've read this morning. The first one said it's 'a supreme psychological thriller, written with great skill and style' which made me interested in the book. However, reading your take on it I don't think it's a book I'd enjoy and I checked on Goodreads and was immediately put off - one of the rules of the owner is 'no books' - well!!! And as you think it's a book people either love or loath. I probably should make up my own mind about it - but really life is too short and there are so many other books to read!

    Happy weekend - enjoy your dinner, especially.

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    1. Yes, I hesitated about sharing my whole opinion, but decided to go ahead and do it. I'm sure many will enjoy it very much. Just wasn't a good match for me.

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  2. I finished Behind Her Eyes last week too! I'm impressed you guessed that ending. I didn't but spent the entire time I was reading trying to guess it! I'll be posting a spoiler discussion about the ending soon.
    And I'm reading Dark Matter as we speak...almost finished. It's a pretty stellar page turner and totally outside of my comfort zone, but I like it!
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Well, I didn't really guess the complete ending, just had an inkling of what might have happened. I'll look forward to your spoiler discussion and I'll participate.

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  3. You had a good week in books. I'm seeing mixed reviews of Behind Her Eyes so I'm on the fence with that one.

    We love Brussels Sprouts!

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    1. As I said, Kathy, I think some will like it and some will not. I remember Candace saying she liked it ok until she got to the last couple of chapters. And I know that brussels sprouts are a favorite of many. Just not me. I don't like cabbage either. LOL

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  4. Behind Her Eyes certainly had surprises, but I didn't feel any attachment to the characters, and although I read the entire book, I didn't care for The Girl Before at all. Both books have rather dense and unsympathetic characters--including the creepy house.

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    1. Unsympathetic indeed. And certainly a creepy house. I'm a rule-following type of person, but the rules in TGB made me nuts. Oh, several things.

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  5. Wow, you've been even warmer than us! Haven't read any of these, but Dark Matter is on my list to be read.

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  6. Yes, there are a lot of people coming down with the flu here, too. We've had a few coworkers out with it again. Sure hope I don't get it twice!

    We had a lovely warm day yesterday with temps reaching 70! It's supposed to be mild for the next week or so, which means I'm ready to get out on the bike trail for some long walks. I'm ready for spring!

    I'm also ready for a good audio thriller, so I'll have to see about getting Behind Her Eyes once I finish Eleanor and Hick. I enjoy nonfiction audios, but they aren't quite as thrilling as a good mystery. :) And, yes, I loved Dark Matter, too. What a fun ride of a book! Now as far as The Girl Before, I'm going to see what other reviewers have to say before giving it my attention. I have the ARC (oops, just discovered I have the ARC for Behind Her Eyes, too!), so we'll see if I bother with it at all.

    Sounds like the Friends of the Library gig could be fun. You'll have to share your thoughts as the year and activities progress. Again, I may be interested in doing something like this in OR.

    Enjoy your dinner with the kids!

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    1. I don't even want to think about the flu twice. Horrors! Maybe they just have complications from the original - that's pretty common. We're teetering on the edge of spring, but I think we'll be back into the 50's next week, with some rain. And yes, I'll update on the Friends deal as I have news.

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  7. Now you've made me very curious about, The Girl Before! LOL
    I hope u have a nice dinner with the family.

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    1. I thought I might make a few curious. LOL

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  8. I really liked Brooklyn Graves though I didn't care for the 3rd book. It just didn't come together for me. That's too bad about The Girl Before. It is on my radar but I hadn't made a decision yet. I'm not sure I love anything even in the realm of 50 Shades! Skunk season is no fun. We've been overrun with coyotes lately and I'm not loving it.

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    1. Coyotes - we've had those around too several months ago. Very, very aggressive ones that had to be trapped and removed. They were snatching small pets and not so small pets - and during the daytime no less. It was a bit scary.

      I'll have to see how the Brooklyn series goes.

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  9. I'm hoping to listen to Behind Her Eyes in a week or two. I spent an Audible credit so I hope I enjoy it. It's not a genre I often read but a few reviews intrigued me enough to give it a try. My DH and I are both on what I hope is the tail end of winter colds. This cough just doesn't want to leave. I'm ready for spring.

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    1. I'll be interested in hearing what you think about BHE, Mary. I'd say it would be a little out of your wheelhouse. Hoping you guys feel better soon. Yes, that cough - lingers and lingers.

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  10. I love to read folks' weekly updates :) I read half of Brooklyn Bones and then returned it, without finishing. It wasn't bad for me, just remember being overwhelmed by NG books at the time (I'm jumping off that train soon, only a few review books left now). Glad you enjoyed it. I was born in Brooklyn/lived there for 12 years, so I enjoy books set in NYC.

    I read Dark Matter a few months ago, and yes it was quirky weird, but so original! I haven't read Wayward Pines, but I watched all the current episodes. Lots of fun.

    Just finished the Kelley Armstrong title A Darkness Absolute, and it reminded me of Crouch somewhat. I'm having a good time stretching out a bit from standard suspense mysteries.

    Hope you enjoy your new volunteer position and get first crack at all those new arrivals :) Stay healthy...

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    1. Good to hear that you enjoyed DARK MATTER. And I can see, from what you've said, that the Armstrong series could have some similarities. Hope you have a good week, Rita!

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  11. I thought Dark Matter was great. Glad you liked it, too!

    Sorry to hear everyone is sick with flu. Everyone down here along the Gulf Coast is hit with flu, too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my flu shot works against this flu.

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-high-tech-voodoo-donut-no-books.html

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    1. Good luck with keeping flu away. I did have a flu shot, but got it anyway. Guess it's true that it mutates or only protects something like 60% of the time. Still, it had been over 20 years since I'd had it. I'll still take a shot every year.

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  12. I am a fan of Wayward Pines - the tv series. I think there will be a 3rd season this summer, based on how it ended. M. Night Shyamalan directs it. The first season is more to his style. The second season gets more sci fi-y.

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    1. I think I remember you talking about watching it. I couldn't remember who had done that. I think it might be on Netflix. I'll probably try it - maybe this summer.

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  13. We went from 60 degree weather one day to a major snowstorm the next and people are sick here too. Fluctuating temps one way or the other aren't healthy.

    Your reading looks good. Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Yes, those temperature swings are tough to take. My mother always said that was why people got sick. Ha!

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  14. Can you believe how warm it's been this weekend? I'm like no!!! I want just a bit more winter because I refuse to turn on the AC in February. haha... And, how was Ajo? Hope you had a fun dinner with your family!

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    1. OK, I've caved and turned the a/c on. I've used the oven and it got too warm, plus the air was just static. We're right there on the cusp of a/c or heat. And with allergies, I don't open the windows.

      Ajo was really good. Really good. I had the seared scallops and the wedge salad. My husband raved about his salad, which was the field greens with some kind of wonderful dressing. Our kids are very adventurous eaters and go all over town. And it had a been a long time since I'd been to downtown Round Rock. Wow! What a change there. Lots of little shops and open areas and restaurants.

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  15. I'm waiting for my copy of Behind My Eyes to arrive. I've read some mixed reviews about it and the more it piqued my curiosity! ;) I've The Girl Before in my pile; not sure when I'll start reading it though (too many library books now but I'm not complaining) and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't what what to think about that 50 shades kind of thing but we shall see.

    Hope you've a great week ahead! :)

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    1. Melody, I'll be curious to see what you think about both the books. They are certainly ones that keep your attention.

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  16. That sickness is hitting all over the country. We had it last week. My son works at a children's hospital and said they were full because of it. I got Dark Matter back and hope to get to it soon. Behind Her Eyes is on my radar. Have a great week.

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    1. Oh, I bet things are busy at a children's hospital. Scary. Glad you guys are better.

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  17. I've been on the fence about Dark Matter but I do believe you've convinced me!

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    1. It's different, but compelling, Lisa. Hope you try it and like it!

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  18. I LOVED Dark Matter! It was one of my favorite reads of 2016.

    I actually enjoyed The Girl Before as well. I'm not certain where everyone is getting this 50 Shades vibe. The sex scenes are brief and not overly detailed and are designed to develop the characters' personalities. They are definitely not the main focus of the story. But, that is how we all end up reading different books even when we read the same one!

    Have a great week!

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    1. I'm glad DARK MATTER was a good one for you. I'll be watching for what that author writes next.

      As to THE GIRL BEFORE, I think my mind went to the 50 Shades thing because the controlling and sex were sort of linked. I agree that the sex scenes were not the main focus. I think we all have our 'hot buttons' and it seems this book pushed a couple of mine. I'm so glad that you commented on your experience with it. I'm pretty sure this will be a 'like it or not' sort of book. Now, have you read BEHIND HER EYES? I'd love to know what you thought about that one. LOL

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  19. I've heard SO MANY great things about Dark Matter; I think I'm going to have to add this one to my list! We have definitely had our share of squirrels around lately, too; it's been so warm the past few days - sheesh! I think the snakes are back, too, and I'm not extremely excited about that; everything is confused.

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    1. Oh, you should definitely read DARK MATTER. I'll be surprised if it doesn't end up in some kind of film or TV adaptation. I think it would be visually interesting.

      And I don't want to talk about snakes. Oh my word - last year was a banner year for our neighborhood with poisonous snakes. I'd love not to have a repeat of that!

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  20. I have felt like the last couple of years--winter just forgets my part of the country exists. I'm loving the rain we've been getting though. It's wonderful. I do feel for those who had had to deal with flooding and mudslides though. The flu has hit hard here too. So many of my coworkers have been out. It's made us extra busy at work as a result.

    I am sorry about your DNF audio book. The others you did finish all sound good though. I really want to read Dark Matter.

    I hope you had a nice visit with your daughter and son-in-law. Have a great week!

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    1. Yes, sorry about the flooding in your area, but glad you are getting rain. It's like that here at times. I think you might like DARK MATTER. And our dinner with the kids was great. Very delicious!

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  21. We were having a mild, for us, winter, but now we have soooo much snow. lol

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    1. See, I can't even comprehend 'so much snow'. That's what comes from having living in Texas almost all my life. LOL

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  22. The Girl Before was a frustrating book, and I took offense with the idea of renting from such a control freak...LOL. And then he turned out to be a psychopath. So, no, not fun.

    I hated the ending of Behind Her Eyes...and I'll bet lots of us felt stunned.

    Dark Matter is one I've been eyeing. I'm leaning toward "yes, let's give it a go."

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Ah, THE GIRL BEFORE, yes, it was the control thing that really got under my skin or collar or whatever. Sigh. Sometimes certain issues can't work for me. You should try DARK MATTER.

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  23. It sounds like your part of the country is super sick. I hope you are managing to stay healthy.

    As soon as I read your comments on The Girl Behind I went to my library's website and cancelled my hold. I can tell from your reaction that I would have a problem with the book too. By the way, I hope you know that Audible will refund your credit on that audiobook.

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    1. I think every part of the country is sick right now. Just a bad flu year, I think. Audible did return my credit. I've rarely used that feature, but glad it's there. Sigh. I hesitated about sharing my reaction to THE GIRL BEHIND, but then I decided I would. I know that my issues with it will not be a deal breaker for others. We all have our preferences. Or maybe it was just that I listened to it. I've found sometimes that certain things resonate more for me when I'm listening to a book as opposed to reading it in print.

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  24. It's way too hot here as well. Ick! It should NOT be 80 degrees in February. Ever. I had to turn on the A/C in my house today because I was MELTING.

    Thanks for the shout out! I'm glad you enjoyed DARK MATTER. It's different, but in a good way :) Very original and compelling. Crouch's Wayward Pines series is a lot different from DARK MATTER, but it makes for very compelling reading. You'll whip through the books as fast as you can until you figure out just what in the world is going on!

    I just heard about BEHIND HER EYES today. I'm excited to read it. I'll try to keep my eyes covered and ears plugged so I don't read/hear any spoilers. Sounds like it's the kind of book that is best read without knowing anything going into it.

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    1. Our A/C has been and off and on and off. I'll try the Wayward Pines books soon. And yes, BEHIND HER EYES - I won't say anything, but will be curious what you think about it. You'll have to share.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!